This week: John Key v The World

John Key

Last week, Key was forced to defend an approach by his personal lawyer Ken Whitney, who was revealed to have lobbied the Government over changes to tax laws.

The week earlier, he had to bat away questions over a Niue resort contract won by National Party donors, but a misfire on the issue also left Little exposed.

He was forced to defend the sting, while trying to deflect threatened legal action for drawing links where there were none.

In a speech to National Party rank file at the party’s central North Island regional conference at the weekend, Key talked up the Government’s “strong relationship” with its support parties.

“By contrast there are the Opposition political parties.

“Let me say just one thing about Labour then I am going to quickly move on to talk about the positive work our government is doing.

“In Labour we have an Opposition that is increasingly turning to the desperate politics of smear and innuendo rather than doing the hard yards of developing an alternative vision for New Zealand.

“But New Zealanders can see through that.”

And let’s not forget the role of the Media party in this as well, which at times reached hysterical overtones as certain “journalists” got ahead of themselves by believing that, after all these years, they finally had the “Key Killer” story in front of them.

Little said Key’s comments were typical of a Prime Minister trying to “deflect attention away” from his own controversies.

“It looks like a deflection from a Prime Minister who has got himself so heavily compromised and conflicted with his personal interests

“But we do have a programme that’s focused on the genuine economic development of New Zealand that is about lifting the interests of all New Zealanders, not just a few,” Little said.

Parliament sits again this week, and it will be interesting to see if the opposition and the media are going to continue their Panama smears. Amusingly, they were all set to keep that alive throughout the weekend but were rather perversely sidetracked by a newsreader’s resignation sucking all the oxygen from the mythical “front page”.

Tuesday will show if Labour think trying to do an extended Panama Papers smear on Key, like they ran the Oravida one on Collins, will still be worth their time. I suspect, in the absence of alternatives and a fair amount of desperation, and while the Media party are behind it, they’ll give it a go to see what sticks.

Thre’s nothing illegal mind you, but it “stinks” and has “perception issues”.

At the same time the Government will be trying to deflect attention with a number of dry budget-related announcements.


– Stacey Kirk, Stuff